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Delta Adds Seven New Routes from Minneapolis

The new routes, which will launch next year, are a direct response to a similar announcement from rival carrier Sun Country Airlines last month

by Fergus Cole

December 21, 2022

Spoonbridge and Cherry at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden in Minnesota / Photo: Ritu Manoj Jethani/Shutterstock

Delta Air Lines has tightened its grip on the Minneapolis market by announcing seven new or returning routes from the city for the summer of 2023.

From next summer, Delta, along with its affiliate carrier SkyWest Airlines, will operate nonstop flights from its hub at Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport (MSP) to:

  • Burlington International Airport (BTV) in Vermont
  • Colorado Springs Airport (COS) in Colorado
  • Great Falls International Airport (GTF) in Montana
  • Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) in Wyoming
  • Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) in Nevada
  • Richmond International Airport (RIC) in Virginia
  • Valley International Airport (HRL) in Texas

Minneapolis-St. Paul has long been a critical hub for Delta. This latest announcement is an attempt to consolidate its position as the dominant airline in the city in the face of growing competition.

Delta Air Lines at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport / Photo: Kate Scott/Shutterstock

In November, Sun Country Airlines—an ultra-low-cost carrier, also based in Minneapolis—announced it would be launching 15 new routes connecting 12 states to the Minnesotan city next summer. The new destinations Sun Country will be serving are:

  • Atlantic City International Airport (ACY) in New Jersey
  • Cherry Capital Airport (TVC) in Michigan
  • Colorado Springs Airport (COS) in Colorado
  • Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) in Michigan
  • Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) in North Carolina
  • John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York
  • John Glen Columbus International Airport (CMH) in Ohio
  • Kansas City International Airport (MCI) in Missouri
  • Louisville International Airport (SDF) in Kentucky
  • Milwaukee Mitchell Airport (MKE) in Wisconsin
  • Omaha Eppley Airfield (OMA) in Nebraska
  • Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP) in South Dakota
  • Richmond International Airport (RIC) in Virginia
  • St Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) in Missouri
  • Wilmington International Airport (ILM) in North Carolina

Once Delta’s and Sun Country’s routes commence, the two carriers will compete directly on flights to Colorado Springs and Richmond. But while business travelers may prefer to pay a little extra for added comfort with Delta, regular passengers looking for a bargain can’t go wrong with Sun Country’s prices.

Jude Bricker, CEO of Sun Country Airlines, said as much during the Skift Aviation Forum in Dallas when the carrier’s new routes were announced:

“We’re trying to turn Minneapolis into a two-airline market,” said Bricker, referring to Delta’s dominance at the airport. “If you pay with your own money, you fly with Sun Country. If you fly on a corporate contract, you fly Delta.”

Delta has a history of fiercely defending its major hubs from the competition. Earlier this month, the Atlanta-based carrier announced it would be operating flights between Detroit and Reykjavik, just days after rival Icelandair announced plans for the route.